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Space Exploration

Stephen Hawking has even more bad news for humanity

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Renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking is what some may refer to as “a Debbie Downer” a lot of the time, not that I blame him. His predictions for the future of humanity are usually pretty worrying, although there’s always a sliver of hope attached to them as well. The good professor was never one to shy away from telling us that if we don’t change our ways soon things are going to get very ugly, very fast. To be fair, many of us are already aware of this, just as we are aware of his stance against advanced artificial intelligence and meeting alien civilizations. Additionally, this past weekend Stephen Hawking also stated that we would be wise to continue to invest in space exploration and expand beyond Earth, else we might find ourselves extinct in the future.

Although there’s no need to panic just yet, I think we would do well to listen to what Stephen Hawking has to say given that he’s widely recognized as being one of the smartest people on Earth and all. However, the aforementioned sliver of hope was definitely present this past weekend as the physicist still seems to believe somewhat in our chances at survival. On Saturday and Sunday the professor made some very interesting statements at the Sydney Opera House where the appeared as a 3D hologram. Stephen Hawking was actually at the University of Cambridge at the time and had the following to say in regards to our future:

“We must continue to go into space for the future of humanity. I don’t think we will survive another 1,000 years without escaping beyond our fragile planet.” On a more positive note, Stephen Hawking also added:

“I want to share my excitement and enthusiasm about this quest, so remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at.”

Basically, there’s good news and there’s bad news. The good news is that expanding to another planet would indeed ensure the survival of our species should a catastrophe (man-made or otherwise) leave Earth very unpleasant for people to live on. The bad news is that such a catastrophe seems all but inevitable and may very well occur sooner rather than later if we continue down this path of destruction and complete disregard for our own future. Personally, I think Stephen Hawking was actually pretty optimistic when talking about 1,000 years. Or perhaps he just didn’t want to scare people too much. To lighten the mood a bit, Stephen Hawking also made some funny comments about former One Direction member Zayn Malik.

As for space exploration, our technology still doesn’t allow us to go very far, so at the moment it looks like Mars remains our best shot. NASA, SpaceX and others already have plans to travel to the red planet in the next decade or two, but we’re likely several decades away from actually being able to establish a successful colony on Mars.

Space Exploration

Starship could make its first orbital voyage in December thanks to SpaceX

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The initial test orbital flight of the Starship has previously been postponed numerous times.

The first test orbital flight of the Starship might occur as soon as next month. The information was disclosed by Mark Kirasich, a senior NASA official in charge of the Artemis moon program’s development, during a live-streamed NASA Advisory Council meeting. Reuters reported that Kirasich stated NASA keeps tabs on four significant Starship flights, the first of which is scheduled to take place in the first part of December.

According to the previously disclosed plans, SpaceX’s Boca Chica facility in Texas will serve as the launch site for the Starship spaceship and its Super Heavy launcher. Three minutes into the journey, the launcher will separate and splash down in the Gulf of Mexico, while the Starship vehicle itself will enter orbit before reentering the atmosphere and landing on the ocean close to Hawaii. The test flight’s total duration is anticipated by the business to be 90 minutes.

Since the middle of 2021, SpaceX has been planning Starship’s first orbital voyage, but it kept getting postponed for various technical and legal reasons. For instance, the environmental evaluation for the launch facility owned by the space business in Boca Chica was just just approved. Even so, the FAA demanded more than 75 adjustments from the corporation before approving a launch license for the site to lessen the impact of its flights on the environment.

The FAA will issue the business a launch license “only when SpaceX produces all outstanding information and the agency can fully review it,” a representative for the organization told Reuters. Prior to the flight, SpaceX must also carry out and pass further tests, including a static fire test of all 33 Raptor engines on the Super Heavy booster, according to SpaceNews.

The Starship’s static fire test in July went horribly wrong when propellants under the booster caught fire. The company’s subsequent effort in August was successful, however only one Raptor engine was ignited on the Super Heavy. Starship also needs to go through a full wet dress rehearsal, which involves a rocket that is loaded with propellants going through the launch countdown but not really lifting off.

 

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Astronomy

NASA’s DART probe successfully collided with an asteroid.

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At the time of impact, the impactor vehicle, about the size of a vending machine, was moving at about 14,000 mph.

After traveling for over a year, NASA‘s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission, which attempted to provide answers, “Could a specially crafted satellite be used to divert an asteroid from its planet-destroying course? How about a number? “has effectively impacted the Dimorphos asteroid. However, NASA ground control has confirmed that the DART impact vehicle has intercepted the target asteroid. The results and data from the collision are still being received. Yes, Dimorphos is about the size of a football stadium, but space is very big, extremely dark, and both the asteroid and the spaceship were traveling rather quickly at the time.

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“It’s been a successful completion of the first part of the world’s first planetary defense test,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said after the impact. “I believe it’s going to teach us how one day to protect our own planet from an incoming asteroid. We are showing that planetary defense is a global endeavor and it is very possible to save our planet.”

In an effort to investigate the employment of defensive satellites as a method of planetary defense against Near Earth Objects, NASA launched the DART mission in November 2021. Nearly 68 million miles from Earth, the DART impactor vehicle, about the size of a vending machine, tragically crossed Dimorphos’ path while traveling at about 14,000 MPH.

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It remains to be seen if future generations of a planetary defense system will be packed with satellites ready to go full June Bug vs. Chrysler Windshield against real planet-killer asteroids. Dimorphos is one of two asteroids that are gravitationally entangled; its parent rock is more than five times larger than Dimorphos itself, but both are dwarfed by the space rock that struck Earth 66 million years ago and destroyed 75% of the planet’s multicellular life while gouging out the Gulf of Mexico.

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Industry and Service

Aurora Station, The First Luxuxry Hotel Experience in Space

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Living in space has been the dream of a lot of people. Some just really want to see what wonders the Final Frontier has to behold. As such, the moment we get updates about life in space, a lot of people’s heads tend to turn and some eyebrows rise.

This time, we’re going to see the first ever luxury space hotel which was introduced during the Space 2.0 Summit in San Jose, California. The Aurora Station is being developed by Orion Span and a group of space industry veterans.

The exclusive hotel will host six people at a time – including two crew members. Space travelers will enjoy a completely authentic, once-in-a-lifetime astronaut experience with extraordinary adventure during their 12-day journey, starting at $9.5 million USD per person.

Yeah, I forgot to say that the price is a little bit high for a lot of people, this is a luxury hotel, after all. And hey, right now those who read this article and have the money to fork over the experience, deposits are now being accepted for a future stay in the station.

The Station aims to launch in late 2021, with the capability to host its first guests the year after that. Those who can spare the coin have to pay up $80,000 USD per person online which is fully refundable.

So, users who are going to stay at the Aurora Station will have the absolutely incredible experience of living in a zero-gravity environment. Not only that but they can also be part of the experiments going on in the station such as growing food while in orbit.

Now, considering I am scared of Space because games like Dead Space have told me that it’s bad. I’d rather stay on the floor for a while longer. However, those interested into their own space experience can go and make their reservations here.

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